The ALBOANen Gazte Sarea Youth Network prepares for Beyond the Borders

The meeting of begirales – monitors – of the ALBOANen Gazte Sarea Youth Network takes place on the last weekend of January in Loyola. This group of 15 young people has gathered to start working and preparing for the meeting of the Youth Network that will take place this coming April and which will include, as in previous years, more than 100 young people from groups in the Basque Country and Navarre. This year the Youth Network is coordinating with the Mugetatik Haratago – Beyond the Borders team, representing the educational campaign that has been raising awareness of the reality of the people who come to our country after being forced to flee their homelands, in order to work toward a world that shelters all people with HOSPITALITY.

We have asked Sheila Colom, one of the network monitors, to share with us her experience of how the meeting went:

If I had to define the proposal of Mugetatik Haratago in one word, it would undoubtedly be “necessary.” We find ourselves at a time when the myths and rumors about migrants have taken over our everyday conversations, gathering strength and echoing in a vulnerable political, economic, and social context. And then, Mugetatik Haratago comes along and takes a stand, following a different method and making use of a wide variety of resources. With facts, testimonies, spaces for reflection, and experiential activities, not only does it help us to fight disinformation, it also creates an exercise in empathy that promotes a real change in the perception of and assistance to migrants.

For the group of begirales from Gazte Sarea, Mugetatik Haratago has been a very meaningful experience. It has allowed us to approach the reality of many people who go through a process of migration in a more vivid way, the emotions and reactions they experience, the gender inequality that is accentuated and perpetuated, and all of the human rights that are being violated during this process.

Begirales from the network have accompanied us on this journey, experiencing this process first hand, and they want to share their experiences. They have shown us that there is no single way to migrate, and that the way that each person experiences this process is different. Meanwhile, they have also made us aware of a common thread, and that is, if we retrace the journeys of our families in this country, that has such an important history of migration, the reasons for it always have a certain similarity.

Through all of the experiences and reflections of these three days, an unavoidable question remained: And now what? What do we do? And the answer, of course, has been: “Get involved!” We want to continue facilitating spaces and tools for young people to become agents for raising awareness in their environments, we want to fight for the respect of human rights both at the collective and individual level and, above all, we want to continue demonstrating that diversity does not take anything away from our communities, rather it enriches us and makes us stronger.

I offer my heartfelt thanks to the Mugetatik Haratago team for all of their help!

This English translation has been possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of website and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: Lesley Andrews